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Holla Jesu Christe

Holla Jesu Christe

[TW: Suicide] 

Standard mom stuff: If you’re thinking about suicide, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


So here we are again. I’m back staring at this screen. For a second there, I thought I had written my last entry. 

This post is a couple of things, which I’ll get to assuredly. This post is going to be the realist shit that I’m likely to share to a public audience ever again. By the time I’ve hit post here, I’ll still be alive. Thankfully. But I’ll be metaphorically naked in front of all of you. I am baring it all. What it’s not… is a cry for help, a ploy for attention, or an invitation to post a reply such as “I’m always here if you want to talk.”

Does that seem rude? It’s not intended to be. I know it’s what you say when you want to say something but you don’t know what to say. I just want people to know that I’m not the type that typically reaches out in that kind of way. The people who I reach to already know who they are. 

I am not posting this for my own good, but in the hope that it helps someone else pull the proverbial panic cord, pump their brakes, call a timeout, or whatever metaphor you find works best. For the people who don’t suffer from some sort of mental illness, maybe it brings better understanding. 

Throughout the post, I’m going to reference things that I’ve taken away from the Biodyne model of suicide assessment and prevention. I shouldn’t have to disclaim this, but of course, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a mental health professional. I’m just a person who struggles with her own mental health and who also sees others around her struggle with their own. Beyond that, the people who are left in the wake of disaster, the warm blanket of oblivion ripped rudely off of them in the night.  With that said, onward and upward, shall we? 

Starting sometime during the week of June 12th, thoughts of suicide started to creep into the forefront of my brain. They’re never far away, always lurking somewhere in shadows, waiting for a chance to seize the day. Waiting for the chance to become the all consuming thing that you can’t avoid, until they succeed in making you another statistic, a hash tag, a sad story. Or you “pump the brakes” and slow down long enough to take a look around. 

By the end of last weekend, it was more than a passing thought. It had taken up residence right in front of me. It was all I could see. I had entered what they refer to as Stage 1. This is not unfamiliar territory to me. I’ve been there a number of times, it normally passes pretty quick and I move along, sending a passing email to my therapist saying something like “Hey, this happened, I’m okay but I wanted you to know.” Then we could talk about it at my next session.

"Everyone has dark times -- a story held in secret.."
“Everyone has dark times — a story held in secret..”

Of course, this time, I didn’t do that. I didn’t send any emails. On the outside, I don’t think anyone could see the big black dog named depression that was following me around. Hell, I even went out and danced, something I don’t do, with random Lyft customers turned friends on Saturday night. I had fun. That’s the thing about depression. It’s not all sitting around, sulking and listening to Brand New and The Get Up Kids.  

By Tuesday, I had swiftly exited the ideation phase and was actively planning the end of my own life. I started putting together certain documents, keys, passcodes, passwords, blank checks and other things that I knew people would need in the wake of it all. I started on my “note.” What it ended up being, near as makes no difference, was a 4100 word of drivel. A long, sad tale that ranged from my own failings to the perceived failings of others. At times a scathing, no-holds-barred airing of grievances that only one other person has read at this point. I intend to keep it that way. 

Throughout my planning, I was even taking smaller details into consideration. Things that a stereotypical suicidal character on a Lifetime made for TV drama wouldn’t. I knew that more than anything, I didn’t want my kids to find me. I know that Grayson can sometimes be anywhere between 2-10 minutes faster than Megan to get inside my house. He doesn’t knock. Additionally, I didn’t want someone like the fire department to have to kick in a door. Someone would have to fix that later, right?

I even made a playlist. I’m not really sure who it was for. I think it was for me than anything. It started as 33 tracks and eventually I whittled it down to about 17. About the perfect length for a mix CD, 73 minutes. Of course, I didn’t have an optical drive in my laptop, and Spotify wasn’t going to let me burn it anyway.. but there it was. 

This happened all throughout the course of Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The only thing that really kept me out of the third and final phase was that I didn’t have a time frame for when this was all supposed to go down. I had a mental to-do list of the things I needed to accomplish before I could even get to scheduling the end of the end. 

Tuesday evening, I went to dinner with Brian. We had wings and beer, as customary with the two of us.. I had been texting with a friend intermittently throughout the day, and as I understood, she was having a shitty afternoon. I invited her to come down and have a beer. She politely declined, as I expected. “Maybe next time,” I replied. It felt hollow, because I wasn’t expecting there to be a next time. A day late friend, I mused to myself. 

My short term memory is so bad, I don’t remember what I did Wednesday morning. I know at some point, I went to Home Depot to pick up something I would need. Utility knife blades. Then I went next door to Tumbleweed and had lunch by myself. I ordered my usual burrito and a beer. I sat at the bar alone. Both in physical presence and mentally. The mix of even a really low dose of Klonopin, only a sixth of what my former psychiatry nurse practitioner had prescribed, and the beer apparently was a bad choice.

As soon as I got home, I passed out. When I awoke, later that evening, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep. Through out the night, I cried all the tears I had out as I worked on the playlists and the note.

Around 5am, the sun was rising and I felt satisfied with what I had written.  I hadn’t eaten dinner the night before and had been living off Coca-Cola and loud music. I got dressed and went to Waffle House by myself. I sat in a dirty booth that no one bothered to wipe down after the previous guests had departed. As I sat in a dirty booth, eating my breakfast, I started beginning to have a moment of clarity. I paid for my half-eaten meal, got back in my car and pulled out onto Bardstown Rd, thinking about all that had happened in the last 36 or so hours. I considered certain contradictions in what I was planning. My jaw and head ached from clenching my teeth throughout the night, having foregone any additional Klonopin to ease the anxiety.  

I pulled into the parking lot at Kroger, and went inside to buy some Ibuprofen. I couldn’t seem to locate the bottle at my house. Assuming either we had taken it all, or that it was sitting in a box somewhere in Rhode Island. 

As I exited the store, I realized that I hadn’t bought anything to drink to actually take the ibuprofen with. Sitting in my car, with the engine idling and the transmission in park. I considered going back inside to buy a coke. I felt to numb, too out of sorts to even bother. I opened the bottle and took two pills, swallowing them dry. 

Then instead of putting the car in drive and heading home, I pulled out my phone. I opened the app that I use to communicate with my doctor and I typed out the following message: 

Ok,

I’m officially pulling the fire alarm. This dizziness, lightheadedness, vertigo thing that I’ve got going on is starting to get out of control.

More importantly, certainly more time critical, is that I’ve passed through stage 2 of the biodyne model of suicidal thoughts. I know there’s nothing worse than having a Graduate of the Google School of Medicine for a patient, but I found this page:

And by my own self-assessment I’m at the completion of stage 2, entering stage 3, but not quite in what they call the “Auto pilot” mode. I considered going to the emergency room, but I haven’t, because well it seemed a little scary.

I’ve backed away from the proverbial ledge, but I’ve been up all night and realized at about 6am that I’ve amassed more than just a note, it’s 4100 words.

I’m safe right now, but I’m going to reach out now, in the interest of full disclosure, for better or worse.

Call, text, write. Love y’all.

–Addison

Then I went home and went to sleep and waited from a call from them. I was in contact with them throughout the day, as they checked in on me and went over my medications.  I should back up a bit and explain..

At the beginning of the month, I had visited because my fatigue was so bad that I couldn’t do anything productive. The doctor came up with a treatment plan, because she advised the combination of drugs he had prescribed had significant risks, including seizures. She tried to do it in such a way that the side effects of withdraw would be minimized, but still told me to stay close and let her know how it was going. Once I was tapered back to a safe dosage, we would reassess my treatment options. That appointment was/is scheduled for the first week of July.  However, the side effects had continued to get worse, the more I tapered down on the medication that was being eliminating. Even yesterday, I was still feeling disconnected and kind of dizzy. Like things getting to my brain were being passed through a wah-wah pedal first. 

Today is the first day in a long time, that I have a sense of clarity. I’ve got a touch of a headache, but at least I’m not clenching my jaw in an attempt to grind my teeth into a bloody pulp. It’s scary that I could have been a day too hasty in giving up. 

The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

Hunter S. Thompson - Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

So there it is, my week. Why I’ve not been at work. Why I’ve been acting distant. Why I’ve been a bitch to a couple people, namely my mother. A lot of things. I quoted the verse “Let me tell you what I wish I’d known when I was young and dreamed of glory. You have no control. Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” from the Hamilton musical. For today, I’m still at the helm, I still tell my own story. However, I came close to the edge.

I think I now know where the edge is, but as Hunter S. Thompson famously penned, “The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others the living-are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still out there.”

And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

On the eve of the 364th day of vagina ownership, I feel that a update is required. However, I don’t really know what more to say. Once the initial healing was done, the dilations tapered down, things just got sort of normal. 

Things I’ve learned about having a vagina: 

  1. Unlike your dick, it has more than 3 smells. Dick has a tendency to smell like one of a couple of things. Freshly showered, Dude you need a shower, and “OMG WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THAT THING?”  A vagina has approximately 15 or more smells. I know what only some of them mean. 
  2. Bacterial Vaginosis is a thing. A thing that I don’t like.
  3. Yeast is used for more than just making bread and beer.
  4. Make sure the toilet paper is actually free of your, uhh, folds before you stand up.

Other than that, things have been fine. My underwear fit for the first time in the last 18-20 years. My pants fit better. I bought a swimsuit that I neither hate or love, which as I gather, is success. I still don’t have hips, nor a butt. No one gets it all. 

Over that period, I lost my newest and last form of virginity. As if I was 15 and in high school, I thought it was with the person I would die with, but months later I found that was not true. Even with my best efforts. I made Lloyd Dobler look like a fucking amatuer, and for a fleeting time I thought I did it, but it was all to no avail. Just like the rap guys misogynistically say that you can’t make a ho a housewife, the same applies to politicians. 

It’s been a year of triumph, it’s been a year of utter failure. I honestly can’t tell you that I’m better today mentally than I was a year ago. That has nothing to do with my genitals though. I can tell you, without question, I’d rather be in San Francisco tonight, on the eve of this surgery all over, than here in Kentucky.  I’ll never forget the feeling of waking up that morning, not tucking, not caring. The thought that nothing else really mattered today. That feeling of waking up in post-op. A brief bit of terror, asking the nurse if the surgery happened, then tears of joy after she told me that it went just fine. 

All the exams, all the “frog legs,” all the poking, prodding, the bleeding, a month long period, all those pads, the catheter, the miralax. All worth it. So worth it. There were moments of fear, of terror. Not that I had made a mistake, but that something was wrong and I was going to end up with some complication. Pictures taken from awkward angles, texted to my surgeon and the replies always similar “Looks fine, just be patient.” All the while thinking, “Bitch, you don’t know me. I don’t do patient.”

I would do it 100 times over. There’s not really a good way to explain how much better my life is because of it, but it has changed my life in a way that only a trans person can understand. A huge source of dissonance between my mind and my body corrected after a lifetime of conflict. 

From the days of being a 15 year old “boy” laying on the bed, with hands not on the genitals, but on the spot where the vaginal canal was supposed to be, imagining what it was like. Thinking of what I believed I was supposed to have from the womb. Through the years of searching for “sex change operations” in the back corner of the all-boys school computer lab. All of the years of thinking about being a girl and then being overwhelmed with shame and feelings of filth. To today, where I am the woman, ready to stomp on anyone that says otherwise, it’s been a long wild ride. 

The fight for my basic rights as a human are not over, but I have the body. I have the confidence. The confidence to tell anyone who thinks I’m anything but the woman to go fuck themselves. It’s liberating. 

This is not a swan song, but it goes….

This is not a swan song, but it goes….

So this morning while I was catching up on Facebook, a friend asked what are the best places to “people watch?” This was part of an assignment for a class she’s currently taking.

Which got me to thinking. As a person who has always been very observant and generally fairly situationally aware, I have spent a lot of time watching people. Since transitioning, those skills have become more valuable. Being able to gauge a room and know who’s paying you too much attention might be the difference between being accosted and not. It reminds me of a scene in The Bourne Identity, where Jason is explaining to Marie about his skillset.

I come in here, and the first thing I’m doing is I’m catching the sightlines and looking for an exit. I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that?

So while I’m not quite on his level, it did remind me of how my brain works.

I started typing out a reply to my friend, initially mentioning mall food courts. I was trying to think of other places, when I remembered being in San Francisco in May.

The Monday following my surgery, I was scheduled for my follow-up for packing removal. While sitting in the waiting room, as Megan was parking the car, I saw another trans woman coming out into the lobby from the exam areas. She was tall and pretty, but seemed a bit nervous. We met eyes for a brief moment and I wondered if this was before or after her surgery. Maybe she wasn’t having surgery at all. Who knew. She and her friend left and I returned to my phone as I waited, letting my questions fade off.

Two days later, we prepared to return to Kentucky flying out later that afternoon. Having had a very good experience in the hospital, all of the staff being so nice and attentive, Megan and I wanted to do something nice before we left town. So we went down to a local bakery and purchased some very fancy cupcakes and picked up a card. Then we headed back to the hospital.

Megan dropped me off at the door and went to park, so I settled down in a chair in the lobby of the hospital. Just doing what I always do, checking out all of the people, taking in the details of them. A few minutes passed, and from the corner of my eye, I see the girl from the doctor’s office. With the same friend accompanying her.

They were coming into the lobby from the pre-surgery area and they walked out into a indoor garden/relaxation area. I got up and walked that direction, but I stopped. I wanted to tell her congratulations, good luck and a quick recovery. But, I chickened out. My anxiety crept up on me, where I can only speak to strangers when they initiate the conversation. So I let her enjoy the fresh air.

I wonder if she’s happier now, like I am. I wonder if I might even know her online. Have we crossed paths on Reddit or Twitter? Who knows. It was just a neat experience of passing someone on the same journey, but just a step or two behind you. In a week, she would be back at Dr. Bowers’ office for her check-up. Then maybe she’d be flying across country back to wherever she calls home.

Kill yourself for recognition, Kill yourself to never ever stop..

Kill yourself for recognition, Kill yourself to never ever stop..

So, this week has been all over the place. I wrote the other day about having the flu. Turns out, not only do I have the flu, but I had flu strains a *and* b. Double whammy. While the flu is gone, the crud in my chest and throat was lowkey trying to morph into full fledged pneumonia.

My doctor said she couldn’t hear the middle or the bottoms of my lungs, because I couldn’t take in a deep enough breath to get there. She loaded me up on all the best that the pharma industry has to offer. I’m finally starting to feel some clearage. Hopefully by Monday.

I went to work on Thursday with my bag of pills and preparations, hoping to get a better response from management. What I got, was worse than before. Our new center sales manager aka CSM (my boss’s boss), told me that he really didn’t care if I could talk well or not, I either took calls or I called out sick and faced the discipline that comes with that.

I thanked him for the condolences, consideration and compassion. I reminded him that my gender dysphoria would make it extremely hard to be misgendered for 8 hours. His response was that he’d been referred to as female on the phone in the past and that it wasn’t a big deal.  This is exactly the same argument used by the aspiring manager a couple months ago. The one that led into a loud verbal dispute in the middle of the office.

I told the CSM that it wasn’t ok and it wasn’t remotely the same. That he had no idea what it was like to be transgender and how you’re constantly having to prove yourself. Nothing productive came from that interaction and so with no other options, I left. Not like my customers would have been able to hear me whispering on the phone anyway.

*SIGH* 

*SIGH*


Enough of that continuing shitshow… I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

Back to important things, I went to my breast augmentation consultation on Wednesday. It was more informative than I expected. If I’m honest, I wasn’t 100% excited prior to getting there. I never really wanted implants. I was hoping that I’d be able to grow boobies the old fashion way. You know, by downing lots of wide-loadestrogen and progesterone and suppressing my body’s ability to produce testosterone. But that hasn’t been 100% successful. Obviously I have some breast tissue. I can’t go get the mail topless. That said, I’m wearing two bras right now just to get a proportional look on my big ass ribcage and my WIDE LOAD shoulders. Seriously. This is me walking down a hallway. I saw decent growth from probably around the 3rd month and that ran into the next year. When I switched to injections in February, I was sure that they’d start perking up. Especially when they started getting tender and aching. They might have grown a bit. Hard to say looking at the pictures from last year. Again, I thought after GRS that I might see some additional perks from being without testes. While the anti-androgen medication I was using did a good job of suppressing testosterone, it’s not without it’s faults. Who’d blame it, it’s not even labeled for that purpose. It’s a blood pressure medication.

So breast augmentation was seen as a last resort option. It wasn’t like the vaginoplasty where there was no other option. Not doing it wasn’t on the table. Having a BA was something I was hoping to avoid if possible. In any event, I’ve reached the point where I think I’ve plateaued in terms of natural growth. Now it seems the BA is the only logical choice moving forward. I decided to move forward now, while I have good insurance. So that I can kind of cross “transition” off my to-do list and focus on more important things in my life.

Of course, once I was in the exam room and the medical assistant was helping me into the fitting bra, my brain woke up. As we tried different sizes, starting small and moving upward, my excitement peaked. I looked at myself in the mirror and I could finally see myself in a bathing suit without being totally mortified that I lost about 3 cup sizes in the bathroom. Or wearing a strapless dress. Even just going to the gas station at midnight to buy chips and not have to feel like I need to put my bras on first, because society expects a girl my size to not be flat chested…. Also, they expect your nipples to not point in opposite directions like Steve Buscemi’s eyes in Mr. Deeds.

It’s easy to say that you don’t care what strangers think. To proclaim that you have no interest in how they see you, through their own eyes. I’ve said it from time to time, but it’s not a mantra that I can live by. I’m constantly scanning the room looking for anyone that’s looking at me. I live a life where I’m constantly concerned about my voice, what I’m wearing, and how I look in order to blend in with the other women. Having the boobs would take one thing off my list of things to be constantly worried about.

Of course, in order to get the surgery or for insurance to cover it, I have to jump back through the hoops of WPATH once more. As I mentioned prior to my GRS, I had to get two permission slips from mental health professionals to be allowed to take my field trip to the vagina farm. For BA, it’s just one. Which is good, that second opinion cost me something like $300 last time.

However, for someone who considers herself to be well established in her gender, I find it hard to accept that I still have to prove myself just to get covered health care. It’s kind of demoralizing in a way. I mean, jesus fucking christ, I let someone cut off my balls and turn my penis into a functional vagina. If anyone’s committed to the trans life, I think it’s me. No one would go through all the shit I’ve experienced in the last 684 days and not be sure that she needed a boob job. But here I am, forced to go back and talk about my dysphoria pertaining to my (lack of) boobs. About a year ago, I wrote an entry where I said:

See, if you’re a trans person and you want to actually transition, you have to jump through hoops. A lot of hoops. Oh, did I mention that the hoops are on fire?

But whatever, I’ll put my Jordans on and get to jumping. It’s not like I have an option.

 (Side note: The title is from the song “High and Dry” by Radiohead, from their 1995 album “The Bends.” It is not a cry for help. Thanks.)

Need you like water in my lungs

Need you like water in my lungs

I’ve had the flu. It sucks. It kinda crept in 2 weeks ago. Starting as just a little cough. I could tell there was something in my lungs, but it wasn’t a huge deal. By last Sunday, the aches in my hips and my knees had started. I initially attributed it to chasing my kids around all weekend.

However, when I woke up Monday, I had hit full peak bullshit. Most importantly, I couldn’t talk. I tried the usual thing, make some hot tea… try and loosen up whatever was going on in there. That didn’t work. In fact, it still hasn’t. We’re 9 days in, and I still can’t really talk. I can croak. I missed the entire week of work. It wasn’t until Saturday that my fever finally broke. On Monday, I trudged to work. Even though I couldn’t speak clearly or for any length of time. I assumed that I would be able to convince management to give me some other task. Something to keep me off the phones.

Of course, I would be wrong. I managed to chew up the first half of yesterday getting caught up on what changed in the previous week. But the center manager wanted me on the phone at that point.

This brings me back to extreme dysphoria. Let’s talk about my dysphoria. My voice. I hate my voice. Since the earliest parts of my transition, I listed my voice as being the thing that made me dysphoric the most. I’ve worked very hard to get a passable female voice on the phone. One where I don’t have to argue with customers and other employees about my gender and my very existence. Obviously, in my current condition, I sound like a 70 year old man that smokes 3 packs a day with a terrible smoker’s cough.

However, as is with most things trans related, my employer just doesn’t really give a shit. I’ve been told how smart I am, how well I know the systems, and my ability to troubleshoot problems and correct them better than some of the people actually tasked with that job. So, why not let me help reps with their orders. Apply promos, do something productive. Something that has to be done anyway. Nah. I don’t sell enough stuff to get a job where my skill set is actually utilized.

Let’s put the transgender woman on the phone so that she can be aggressively misgendered all day long. Fuck my life.

livia

So I did what any sane person would do, I filed for another Job Accommodation. I go back to the doctor tomorrow. She’s probably going to tell me I have pneumonia or lung cancer or some such shit.

HOWEVER COMMA…

Before I go to my primary care doctor to be given news of my impending slow, painful, and probably humiliating death… I have a consult with a plastic surgeon to talk about my boobs. I’m going to the wizard to talk about boobies. This is all very exciting.

I’m hoping, but not holding my breath, to have that done by the end of the year. Since I’m pretty much maxed out on my out of pocket costs with my insurance, why not? I mean, my lovely company might not care about my mental wellbeing, but they can pay for some consolation prizes.

She’s Not There

She’s Not There

I had my meeting. The company’s response was best summed up in emoji. It would be:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This was even after I had a heated confrontation with an aspiring member of management, one of our team leads, after he misgendered me. I was so upset that I nearly just quit on the spot. I packed my desk, neatly into a box that I had previously prepared back in April. In April, of course, I assumed I was going to be fired at any moment. Even with that looming impending doom having passed, I never totally unpacked the box. It stayed under my desk until recently, when I moved it to my car. It’s in my trunk right now.

In any event, the company was all like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I was advised to file a complaint with the Louisville Metro Government, alleging a violation of the local fairness ordinance. As part of the complaint process, they asked me to explain how I felt that I was being discriminated against. It took me nearly a week to work up the motivation to complete that. A few false starts and versions later, I had written about 3 pages worth of my experience.

img_20160830_161804

On August 30th, I went down to the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission and signed the formal complaint, filing both locally and federally. The federal component was an EEOC complaint, alleging sex discrimination.

Now we wait to see what’s going to happen next. For those interested, here’s my official statement that I included in my complaint. (Edit 11/23/2016: I’ve updated this to reflect the newest version, with up to date info.)

To Whom It May Concern:

I began working for AT&T in June 2013. In March 2015, I came out as a transgender woman. At that time, I requested that people start using female pronouns and my new chosen name. My name was legally changed with the Commonwealth of Kentucky in April 2015. Throughout this process, I made sure to give a reasonable amount of time for my colleagues to adjust to my new name, pronouns, and appearance.

Initially, I approached center level management regarding restroom access. I was met with needless delay. When I pressed the issue, I was told “Oh, I thought you didn’t want to use the women’s restroom until after you had the surgery.” When I was finally given permission to use the restroom that matched my gender identity, it was almost begrudgingly. The email from HR said “Due to there not being a unisex restroom facility in your building, you may begin using the female restrooms.” – implying that segregating me from other women would have been a more acceptable solution. This also goes against the verbiage in the “AT&T Transgender Policy.”

Immediately, I was met with a new issue. Despite AT&T having a clear and concise policy pertaining to transgender people transitioning on the job, local management decided to ignore it altogether. It was decided, against my objections, that no one in the office would be told about my transition. It was decided that we would deal with bathroom issues on a case by case basis. I made it exactly one week before the first incident.

Throughout, I tried to ignore the misgendering and use of my former name (dead naming), but as time went on I started correcting people as I overheard them. Things were not improving. In September 2015, I arrived in the office to find that a member of management had posted pre-transition pictures of me (Presenting as male) on an office bulletin board. Other bulletin boards were still referencing my former name.

I immediately contacted Human Resources. Meanwhile, the manager in question called me to apologize. Even in her apology, she continued to misgender me. Human Resources assured that the issues had been handled, despite the issues continuing. I asked HR to transfer to me out of the call center to which I was assigned. I was still being regularly misgendered and being subjected to microaggressions. Microaggressions, for those not familiar with the term, are subtle verbal or behavioral slights that invalidate a person’s identity or experience.

I was told by a coworker that the center manager went on a tirade regarding my transition, as she felt her religious beliefs did not allow her to work with transgender people. This occurred on my day off. My understanding was that a number of employees witnessed the outburst and that someone submitted an ethics complaint against the manager in question. At least one other co-worker came to me to let me know that the center manager was continuing to misgender me in meetings, and would continue to do so, even after being corrected.

Meanwhile, I was seeing retaliation from the manager that I had reported to HR for the pictures and dead naming. My performance was being scrutinized more closely than my colleagues, and rules were not being applied equally. The 1st level manager was reviewing my calls and transactions, even though I was not on her team and I did not report to her. Additionally, I was issued discipline that was not in line with other employees. My performance suffered as a result of constantly trying to make sure that I was protecting myself.  

As part of my treatments, I was utilizing FMLA time to attend therapy and other transition-related medical care.  I found that while initially my FMLA time was approved very quickly, as things got worse in the office, the FMLA cases were endlessly delayed. A normal approval might come back in 5 days; in my case, I had cases pending for over a month at one time. At one point, the manager in question showed up at a funeral and was caught in the chapel taking pictures of me. The next day, I was informed by another colleague that she had been printing “Benefit Fraud” paperwork, which I assume she was going to use to initiate a FMLA abuse case. However, she didn’t know that I was out of work for mental health issues, largely because of this type of harassment. Again, I asked for a transfer within AT&T.

Towards the end of April, I went out on medical leave for surgery and the subsequent recovery. During the time I was out of the office, both the manager in question, along with the center level manager were both terminated. While no official word was ever given, the assumption was that it was in relation to the complaints that I had filed with the company.

The thought process was that when I came back to work, things would be much better. However, I returned on June 21st, largely to much of the same. For a third time, I requested a transfer to another work location. I received no response. I continued to be misgendered by co-workers and managers alike, with the same frequency. I tried to let things pass, especially if the person would correct themselves. I was getting a lot of “he, I mean she” references, despite being full time on the job for 17 months at the time. At this point, seeing no other choice, I sent another written complaint to HR. I noted that in the previous 8 days, I had been misgendered by 4 different members of staff. Two had corrected themselves without me saying anything. One I corrected and the person got upset and walked away. The final person engaged me in a verbal dispute on the sales floor about how it was “ok” and “not that big of a deal.”

Again, I asked HR to transfer me to another work center, so that I might be “stealth”, where my co-workers didn’t know about my transgender status. Where they had not worked with me prior to transitioning. The company’s position was such that they were going to continue to deal with the issues on a case by case basis. I asserted that this was an inappropriate response to a larger problem. I also told HR that it was my opinion that the company continues to treat me as an experiment rather than protect me. Additionally, AT&T does not care about the issues within the work center. There’s been no action to remove me from the source of the conflict, nor has there been any significant or good-faith attempt to correct the issues at the origin.

The response was much of the same, I could apply for other positions within the company, but there would be no transfer. There was no policy to support me being transferred. At this point, I filed a formal complaint with the Metro Louisville Government and the Federal EEOC, stating sex discrimination and a violation of the Louisville Fairness Ordinance.  That is still pending. AT&T brought in two people from EEO office to conduct ethics training in groups of 25 or so at a time over the course of 2 days. The training spent a lot more time focusing on the transgender policy than other parts. This was extremely awkward for me, as I felt like the elephant in the room. With that much attention, pretty much everyone in the office knew why they were being subjected to a compliance training.

Since that happened, nothing has really changed. I’m still being misgendered occasionally. At this point, I’ve been full time presenting as a woman for near as makes no difference 20 months. There’s an adjustment period, for sure, but at this point even the “mistakes” are based on people just not caring enough to try to gender me correctly. It signifies that they do not respect me as a woman, they see me as the man in a dress, and I should feel lucky when they get it right. They’re placating me. Even as new people come into the office, they somehow learn of my trans status and then it starts again. I can walk down the street, go to my son’s school event, interact with perfect strangers and never be misgendered. But once someone shares (against my will) my status with someone in this office, then they fall in with the others.

The most recent issue, and perhaps one of the most offensive happened last week.  I had come down the flu, both the A and B strains. During that period, I also came down with Bronchitis, Upper Respiratory Infection, Bronchospasms and a really bad cough, among other things. Once the fever was gone, I tried to come back to work. AT&T wants me to come to work, I want to come to work. However, I could barely talk. I could talk very roughly for brief periods of time, but I couldn’t be on the phone whispering to customers for 8 hours a day. I had asked my 1st level supervisor and my GTR if there might be something that I could do that would keep me off the phone, for a couple more days. I brought in my doctor’s notes explaining that speaking would delay my healing and result in more time lost. They seemed willing to help me but they needed approval of the 2ndLevel Manager (Jason Erwin). He flat out refused. I contacted my union local president and vice president, who called Erwin to try and work something out. They were given the same answer. I could take calls or I could call out and face the discipline for the attendance.

I worked a part day, doing trainings and coverages that I had missed while I had been off. My supervisor went over my scorecard for the prior month and covered me on my overall performance. Once that was done, I was forced to go home, because there was nothing I could do. The next day, I came in, but only ended up staying about an hour because again, the management refused to have any compassion. Wednesday was my normal scheduled day off. On Thursday, I returned to the office. I was having system issues, so I wasn’t able to take calls immediately. Instead of my supervisor coming to see if I needed help, Erwin approached me. I asked him about the official job accommodation request that I had sent Sedgwick. He said they wouldn’t have that for 2-3 weeks. I asked, so what about right now, when I actually need the accommodation?

Again without any compassion or concern for my recovery, he told me that under no circumstances was he going to approve any job accommodations, other than the time missed. I tried to explain that I couldn’t speak very well, or clearly. I also tried to explain that with my gender dysphoria diagnosis that I have extreme dysphoria about being misgendered, and that even if I could take calls all day, it  would be impossible to not be misgendered by customers.

His reply was almost verbatim to a previous person who had misgendered me and then argued his position. He said, “I’ve been called a woman on the phone. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a big deal.” Which is not what a cisgender male 2nd level manager should be saying to a transgender person. He thinks that because he doesn’t have gender dysphoria, that mine doesn’t matter. He doesn’t get to make that call though. A person of privilege doesn’t get to decide what is and isn’t offensive or triggering to a marginalized person. Furthermore, this whole interaction occurred on the sales floor, in the aisle with my team and in earshot of other people as well. It really cements the company’s commitment to transgender people. It enforces to my teammates and coworkers that it doesn’t matter if I’m misgendered. If he says it, why should we care if we call the t****y by male pronouns.

I contacted my ERM via email. This was on Thursday, 10/27. She replied back with a standard “I’ll get back to you by Friday the 28th” email. I was out on Friday, but I didn’t get any emails from her. When I came in on 10/31, I still had no contact from her. On Tuesday, 11/1, I emailed her again because I hadn’t heard anything from her. I also let her know about the conversation that my union reps had with Erwin. I told her that I was leaving, but I asked her to contact me on my personal cell phone.

She contacted me and I explained a little more in depth what was going on and how I was concerned with Erwin’s comments and his refusal to attempt any type of help for an extremely sick employee. She said she was going to work on my issue. I haven’t heard from her since. This was 11/1. I emailed her on 11/2, letting her know that I was back in the office and working, asking for an update. To date, she hasn’t contacted me. On the 3rd, at the advice of a LEAGUE rep, I placed a call to ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■ (■■■■■■) who had dealt with prior EEO complaints that I had filed. I spoke with her and explained that I felt that the company hadn’t been taking my complaints seriously. That this new complaint was just the same as the previous. That I am working in a hostile work environment, that once again, I have a 2nd level manager that I couldn’t trust to protect me from the people who report to him. That I had requested a transfer at least 4 times and was denied each time. I also explained that the “hammer each nail” approach doesn’t work, because another “nail” always pops up. AT&T continues to experiment on trying to fix an office of 100 people rather than take the 1 person impacted out of the situation. I gave her the name and UID of the ERM who I had spoken to, she promised she would get in contact with her and work on it.

That was on Thursday. It’s Saturday now, I’ve heard nothing from her or the ERM. Again, I’m over here in a mentally hostile work environment but it’s not a huge priority for anyone to resolve. Furthermore, they promoted a very close friend of the 1st level manager that was harassing and following me. He’s now a 1st level manager in the center. This is a person that drinks and hangs out with a person that misgendered, harassed and stalked me. When I came back from medical level in June, him and his wife wouldn’t speak to me. His wife is a sales consultant like me. Now he’s effectively my boss. Even though I don’t directly report to him. For example, today because we run a limited staff, we only have one coach in the office. He’s the coach. Initially, he was supposed to take over my team. This was only avoided by me having a very frank discussion with Erwin where I laid out the conflict of interest between he and I.  I also mentioned that I believe it’s inappropriate for a manager to be married to a rep in the same call center. Erwin said HR had cleared that, but that he would work something out so that he and I didn’t have to work together. That obviously worked out well.

All along, the only thing I’ve ever wanted from AT&T is to be able to do my job and be respected as any other woman within the company. The company and their employees, managers and agents continually disrespect me, ignore COBC as well as the laws & guidelines set up within Metro Louisville’s ordinances to protect people like me, and refuse to take action to resolve the situation.

 

Sign Out To Meeting

Sign Out To Meeting

In my workplace, a manager coming to your desk and telling you to sign out to meeting after you finish your call is normally a good sign that discipline is coming down. It’s not something you normally want to hear.

However, in my case… I’m ready to have my own meeting. The classic “Come to Jesus” meeting, so to speak. I’ve touched on this issue before, but never really going into depth about it. My problem is that despite having transitioned in early 2015, with 17 months full time on the job, the people I work with and for still can’t seem to get it right.  I was out of the office today on union business, but on Monday alone, I was misgendered by 3 different people. One member of management and two craft employees. (Note: I started this draft last week.)

Since coming out, I’ve had a number of issues within the office. I’ve taken the worst of them to human resources as well as our ethics complaint line. The complaints were for harassment, discrimination and retaliation. However, there’s always been a concern of how these claims were dealt with. Due to confidentiality regulations, I could never be debriefed on the actual disposition of my complaint. I could make an assumption, but there’d be no real closure. I feel like it’s a major transparency issue for the company.

Despite it all, it’s still continuing. It doesn’t really seem to be improving. I’ve repeatedly asked human resources to transfer me into another workcenter where I can go stealth and no one would need know about my gender identity. This would allow me to leave that lingering residue of my old identity behind. I’ve requested it from my ERM (Employee Resource Manager), my first level supervisor as well as my second level manager. I’ve made requests through the union and they’ve approached management regarding it. No one has ever said “No.” It’s always that they’re waiting on an answer from someone else. Who this person might be is a mystery to me.

So my “Come to Jesus” meeting is really quite simple. My feelings are that the company has not taken the appropriate actions to curb the microaggressions and misgendering within the workcenter. Nor have they moved me out of the workcenter. They’ve failed to hold up their own policies. They have failed to take reasonable measures to protect me, so that I can do my job.

Both of these things are well within the means of the company. They don’t place any undue burden or hardship on the company. They do not hinder the needs of the business. If anything, they lend to the needs of the business, because I’d be able to spend more of my time working and less of it speaking with human resources and the ethics hotline.

My feeling is that the company doesn’t care. They want to be ranked highly on the HRC reports and be known as one of the top LGBT friendly companies. However, when it comes down to brass tacks, their words ring hollow. In my opinion, the company could care less. The meeting would allow me to understand if my assumptions are correct. Assuming they are true, then my next course of action would be to consult with a lawyer who specializes in the EEO, discrimination and harassment claims. What else is left?

#PlotTwist

#PlotTwist

Right, so I had written something like 1500 words about a month ago. I rewrote it 2 weeks ago and even was trying to revise it to post Thursday the 7th. I’m thankful that I never did quite get it finished because everything has changed since then.

In a recently published entry, I had written that I was leaning heavily towards leaving Kentucky and moving to New England. In reality, it wasn’t that I was leaning towards it. I was going to leave, but like cooking live lobster you have to ease people’s minds into that idea. Even with it being just a hypothetical situation, that revelation was met with criticism amongst other things. There was a lot to be said about it. I think I lost more than one facebook friend as a result. I was obviously very broken up about that. #ByeFelicia

On the other hand, the only thing that I was grappling with was prospect of leaving my children behind. It was the hardest decision, but I was going to do it and hope for the best. I had intentions of trading access to my family for a chance at a fresh beginning in a new place with a new person. It was the truest idea of bittersweet. The idea of starting over for a trans person is not uncommon. We seem to all yearn to leave behind the husks of our old selves. To be surrounded by people who never knew you by any other name or gender.

Even now, 19 or so months into my transition and over 16 months full time, I still find that I am “he, I mean she” or worse, just “he.” To some people I will never be more than what I was before Addison. Even worse, is being outed by people that I know. They find it their job to tell people who have not yet met me that “she used to be a man” or “she’s trans” or whatever. Fuck that. In my experience, once a new person has that knowledge, they seem to lose their ability to gender you correctly 100% of the time. Each “he” feels like a shiv to the back. Not deep enough to kill you, but enough to make you bleed. A lot.

With the divorce paperwork submitted to the judge to be finalized, I was looking at the prospect of selling as much stuff as possible, giving away the rest and leaving with just my clothes and personal effects.  For two reasons, one was to get the new beginning and be somewhere that I could be Addison with no previous preconceptions or baggage. Where I could go to work and do my job and not be harassed or disrespected. The other was somewhat simpler, something that most everyone can appreciate.. I’m in love.

However, major components of the that plan crumbled over this weekend. I’m saying that in the best way possible. I’m not leaving. While I won’t get my fresh start, I’ll get the love and my relationship with my children. I’m very excited about what the future holds for my family.

“So what had happened was….”

Kayla and I met on Twitter in the latter part of last year. What had started off as some casual likes and retweets became some discourse, along with some banter and it sort of evolved over time. The conversations became longer and they covered all sorts of topics. Feelings on my part emerged quickly, but I kept silent about that for some time. However, much to my surprise, those feelings were mutual. The only problem was the distance. She in Rhode Island and me in Kentucky.

So when we finally met in early summer, neither was 100% what to expect. We made a deal that if either of us wasn’t feeling it, we’d speak up. The initial meet up was awkward, but soon the ice melted and we both deeply enjoyed each others company. We had a great weekend and it ended too soon.

Before we had met face to face, I had asked her if she would consider moving to Kentucky but she was fairly vehemently opposed to the idea. She gave me a myriad of very good and valid reasons. I had put that idea to rest. Megan had even reached out to her and taken a shot at attempting to convince her, but to no avail.

Megan wanted to meet her. The stated reason was that if this person was going to be around her children, she wanted to know her first. In reality, that was but a small portion of her intent. She wanted Kayla to meet the children and I assumed she was going to take Kayla on an all expense paid trip to Guiltsville. No matter the intent, I totally welcomed the opportunity to be together again. So, I arranged for her to come down. With that we began the countdown.

I picked her up at the airport late that Friday evening, with the intention of spending more time together. We both were feeling very confident that we wanted to be together, but we felt this visit would cement things as much as possible. As planned, I would be starting the arduous process of moving to Providence. Alas, plans are sometimes better on paper.

We had an amazing weekend together, enjoying each other’s company. We had great food, were entertained by the children and continued to learn more and more about each other. Her and I, along with Megan and the kids went to the Louisville Science Center. During that visit, Megan and her sat down to talk. I was not invited or privy to the details. As I would learn later, I hadn’t given Megan enough credit for her salesmanship.

By the time the afternoon drew to a close, I could tell Kayla was heavily in thought. Once we were alone in the car, she started talking about moving to Louisville. At first, I didn’t take her talk serious, because she had previously had this discussion but then decided against it. She told me that during the conversation at the museum, Megan had excused herself to use the restroom. While Megan was gone, Kayla said that Hunter decided to share his food with her. Holding his hand out for her and then dropping a puff into her hand. I had never seen Hunter share his food with anyone. She said that was the moment where she started to come around to the idea of being here.

As the discussion progressed further, I realized this was a real thing. Initially, Kayla told me that she couldn’t make that decision, but she would move here if I asked her to. At that point, I started to cry. Not of joy, because I didn’t want to be the determining factor that took her away from her friends, her career and her political aspirations. In the end, we decided to not make any decisions that night. Instead, we got dressed up in our black dresses and heels, put on our lipstick and went out to a lovely dinner.

On Sunday, we talked more about it. I still was not pressuring her to move here. I wanted it to be her decision. I told her that in a perfect world that yes, I did want her to move here. I explained that it would make things much easier for me, but it would mean her giving up a lot of things. Ultimately, we let fate decide. We flipped a cap from a bottle of Amber Bock. Looking back, I don’t know that it would have mattered if it came up the other way, but that was that. She said “Welp, looks like I’m moving to fucking Kentucky. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

It was an emotional afternoon. We steamed up a huge dinner of crab legs and potatoes and proceeded to eat ourselves toward a food coma. There was some what of a strange feeling in the air. I was content with this new arrangement, but she was still grappling with the decision she had just made. We also had a conversation regarding the appropriate time to tell Megan. Initially, I thought we should wait until certain things were more concrete.

In the end, We decided to tell Megan and I called her later that evening. She was sitting down for a late dinner at a restaurant, so I made it a short call. I told her that I was not leaving and that Kayla was going to move here to be with me. She was ecstatic and just said “thank you thank you thank you thank you.” I told her we’d talk more later and to enjoy her dinner.

Monday was bittersweet, because Kayla had to go back to Providence. This time there were less tears when we were saying our goodbyes, because we knew it was just a temporary situation. A means to an end. A time for her to get her affairs in order. For me it would be an opportunity to get the house cleaned up in such a way that it would be ready for her. It was important to make sure that she could come here and make a home that she enjoyed. To ensure that she wasn’t trying to dig out a place in the ruins of the marriage of Megan and I.

With that in mind, I will fly from Louisville International Airport after work on the evening of Friday, August 26th arriving at nearly 1am on Saturday at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. In the morning, when daylight comes, Kayla and I will drive out of Rhode Island on our way through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio before crossing the Ohio River back into the bluegrass state. I am certain that this will be a very emotional journey for Kayla. To leave a place she had said she was never leaving just months ago will be hard. I will be eternally indebted to her for that sacrifice and I am so humbled by that.

I am so excited about this next chapter in our lives. Only time will tell where the story takes us, but the words “So dust off your highest hopes” that Taylor Swift sang in “Everything Has Changed” ring so true right now. My biggest hope is that everyone will welcome Kayla, because I love her very much and her happiness here is of paramount importance to me. <3

Much more to come….

This is not the post you’re looking for

This is not the post you’re looking for

As my stepfather is keen to saying “I’ll get right on that, right after I eat this grapefruit.” But there’s never any grapefruit to be found. I think that’s the point.

Right, so. I was just driving my car home last night and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I thought, “Wow, I made it.”

Speaking specifically to my other trans friends that sometime read my drivel, do any of you feel like that? As in, we made it through the darkest times, the most awkward parts, the constant barrage of questions and at the end, here we are. On the downward slope of transition?

I know some of my trans friends have a hard time remembering what it was like before transition. It’s a sort of fuzzy memory. You know it happened, but you can’t really explain the particulars any longer. Now, myself, I haven’t quite come to that place. Perhaps, I never will. I have a tendency to live in the past. I used to assume that the Jimmy Eat World song “23” was written for me. That line that says, “I won’t always live in my regrets” rang true to me. While I still think the rest of the song feels relevant, that line no longer means what it meant.

I haven’t forgotten what the pre-Addison life was about. Honestly, I remember important moments in my life in an almost HD perfect clarity kind of way. Honestly, I don’t know that I want to lose that. I’m sure age will take that from me, but I don’t think transition will be the culprit. Many trans people want to argue about who they were back then and what that means. I try not to get caught up in that part. I only ask that my friends and family, when regaling others with the tales of my vivid past, they respect my pronouns and my name. Just because I was referred to differently at the time, doesn’t mean that I want that to be a part of the story.

In any event, the part that my friends mentioned aside from the fuzzy memory was that they had achieved a sense of normalcy. That the person they are now is the new normal. Moving past the obstacles of transition, navigating shitty healthcare providers, awkward conversations with HR and bosses and the sometimes inevitable changes in the dynamic between you and your family or friends… or both. That having survived that part and surviving the period of limbo. Passing through the phase where you’re still baby trans, freshly hatched from the egg of acceptance, that you have reached peak trans and now the high water mark is receding.

That you are you and no one can dictate that except you. Other people, be it family, co-workers, friends, enemies or people on the internet, don’t define you. They can’t change you. That you are done with all that. Having set all that stuff aside, you look into the horizon and you see the rest of your life to live as you deem correct. You made it.

Post-op: A 20 Day Review

Post-op: A 20 Day Review

Sidenote: I started this a couple days ago and fell asleep while writing it… Woops. I incremented the days in the title to reflect this.

I’ve been home for about 12 days now and I keep intending to write something… However, sitting in my desk chair is uncomfortable and I don’t really like typing on my laptop keyboard for any length of time, but whatever. I feel like the longer I wait, the less likely that I’ll write anything.

As a bit of fore-warning, I am probably going to be a bit graphic. As such, proceed with caution, depending on your comfort level.

I’m exhausted. Just all the time. Severe lethargy. It seems like the less I do, the more tired I am. Likewise, my pain levels have elevated as well. I guess healing is energy intensive. Who would have thought?

From a healing perspective, things  seem to be mending well, with only one notable exception.  Last Saturday, I popped a stitch. I had noticed the end of the thread had been hanging out since the hotel stay in California, however it didn’t seem to be a big issue. However, the evening, it was totally out.  With the stitch out, the seam of the wound separated.

Monday, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician to have her take a look at it. She examined it and she tried to calm my nerves. She said that it has a bottom and it’s not tunneling inside my body, which is a good thing, she also mentioned that the area couldn’t be restitched due to the fragileness of the tissue.

Her suggestion was to stop doing so much. Which she was right. The problem is,  I had been feeling good and I thought I could do more. With that feeling good, the body had not been as responsive as maybe it should be. I can only describe it like getting a sunburn. You really don’t notice until it’s far far too late.

Additionally, she attempted to take stress off the tissue by pulling the skin together and securing it with SteriStrips. The problem with the strips is that when I pee, because everything is kind of swollen still, my pee runs everywhere before it falls subject to gravity. The bulk runs down my labia on either side and then follows that path towards my butt. The wound is at the entrance of the vaginal canal, where it meets the perineum. So when the strips get wet, they lose their adhesion and they come loose. Walking will do the same to a certain extent, especially with a little bit of sweat mixed in with some discharge.   My solution has been to just keep my butt in bed as much as possible.

However, by Wednesday evening, the wound looked like it had gotten larger. I was scared, I was crying… I was inconsolable. Terrified that I was going to ruin everything or end up with some sort of flesh eating infection in my vag, I was just a mess. So I emailed my PCP and explained that it seemed to be getting bigger. Her medical assistant, who’s awesome, called me the next morning and told me to come back in so they could take another look.

So I went in and she was relieved when she saw it, because I guess I had concerned her that it was much larger. She did confirm that yes, it was bigger, and the split had actually gotten into the vaginal tissue. However, she also said that it had tapered itself in such a way that she didn’t expect it to continue to separate further.

Since then, aside from a couple of trips out for food and then Hunter’s 1st Birthday Party, I’ve stayed in bed, on the couch, or sitting on the patio (as I am now). Even the party, I spent the majority of it in a lazyboy with my feet up. This has led to some fairly dramatic healing of the area. I’m sure it’ll be weeks to a month before it’s fully closed. Which is concerning if I’m supposed to go back to work in 2ish weeks. I don’t move much at work, but I have to walk nearly 2 blocks each way to the parking garage and walk up and down 4 flights of steps.

Likewise, the 3x daily dilation regimen will be difficult to maintain with some duration between the 2nd and 3rd. If I get dilate before work, that’d be around 9am. I wouldn’t be able to dilate again until about 8pm and then again around midnight. Basically means I’ll lose 1.5-2 hours that I could be spending with family/friends in my already short evening.

As for the pain, I’m still in a lot of pain most of the time. One would think that the pain would be between my legs, inside the actual vagina, or the wound separation. However, the bulk of the pain is in the pubic area. There’s no visible bruising, but deep down in the tissue, it’s miserable. I’ve just finished my 2nd bottle of percocet since being discharged and I haven’t been taking as much as I would like. I’ve tried replacing it with high dose ibuprofen and it only takes the edge off. Might bring 7-8 pain to a 4 or so.

Still waiting on my surgical declaration letter from Dr. Bowers. I want to get my birth certificate updated before Governor Bevin realizes that it’s legal for me to do so. My luck, he’ll repeal the law in an emergency special session.

More later, stay tuned.